A New Sound to the Mass
September 25 , 2011


What will the new translation sound like?

Because of the more literal approach to translation from Latin into English, the third typical edition of the Roman Missal will sound noticeably different than what we are currently used to. It will be particularly challenging for priests who are accustomed to the current prayers and may have memorized many of them over the years. Practice will be required for the clergy to be able to pray the texts and not just read them at Mass.

The assembly will also need to pay special attention to the prayers being prayed at Mass. This will certainly provide an opportunity to refocus on the words that are used at liturgy; to reflect more deeply on what we are saying and who we are saying it to. It will raise everyone’s awareness of the meaning of the words rather than simply repeating them by rote.

Most church-going Catholics are understandably curious as to what will change for them. Some of the changes are quite significant. Instead of responding, “And also with you,” as they do now, they will respond, “And with your spirit,” which is a literal translation of et cum spiritu tuo. During the Gloria, the people will sing “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will” instead of the current “Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.” The Prayer of the Faithful will begin “I believe” instead of “We believe” and will make use of the word “consubstantial” instead of “one in being” (with the Father).  At the invitation to Communion, the people will now respond, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

On Sundays, many of the people’s parts containing the changes are normally sung such as the Gloria and the Holy, Holy. Singing these parts will make it easier to get used to the changes.

The US Bishops Committee on Divine Worship has established a website to assist with the implementation of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal which includes a section worth visiting with all of the specific changes for the people at Mass. The website also has the translation of the four main Eucharistic Prayers which Mass-goers are encouraged to review before they are put into regular use at Mass.

Bishop Arthur Serratelli, the chair of the Bishop’s Committee on Divine Worship, has worked tirelessly to explain the forthcoming changes and assist dioceses in preparing for the implementation of the new translation. In a recent article on the subject, he writes: “The texts may be unfamiliar now, but the more one understands their meaning, the more meaningful their use will be in the liturgy…To pray with and reflect on these words will help us all to open our hearts to the mysteries the texts express.”

Catholics ought to take some time now to look at these texts so that when they are ready for use in the liturgy, they will be able to participate in the Mass fully, consciously and actively without being distracted by the initial unfamiliarity of the texts.

Over the course of the next seven weeks, excerpts containing the changes to the people’s parts will be printed in parish bulletins. Please check back weekly to familiarize yourself with the new responses for use by the people. These new texts will also be printed and made available in churches for people beginning November 27, 2011, until everyone gets used to the new language and commits it to memory.


Prepared by the Office of Divine Worship – Archdiocese of Newark – www.RomanMissalNewark.orgwww.RomanMissalNewark.org

Ancient Prayers, New Translation

Bulletin Series 1
Questions & Answers 1-7
March 7 - April 17

What is the Roman Missal?

Bulletin Series 2
General Introduction
to the Roman Missal 1-7
May 15- June 26

A New Sound to the Mass

Bulletin Series 3
Excerpts 1-7
October 2 - November 13